Lotus root is an edible rhizome (root) of the lotus plant. It’s a seasonal vegetable that is harvested from the beginning of August until the end of fall. Lotus roots are mostly popular with Asian cuisine, especially stir-fries. Like most other vegetables, lotus roots are highly perishable due to their high moisture content. If you bought a couple of lotus roots, you may be wondering how to store them. The fridge can keep them fresh for up to 5 days, but what if you need to keep them fresh longer? Would freezing be an option?
Can you freeze lotus root? Yes, you can freeze lotus root. These root vegetables are high in moisture which makes them freeze well. You can either freeze the lotus root as a whole or sliced. To keep them fresh in the freezer for a long time, you’ll need to blanch them first. Be aware that freezing these root vegetables will soften them slightly.
Should You Freeze Lotus Root?
Lotus roots tend to not last very long once it’s harvested. Keeping them in the fridge will only keep them fresh for 3-5 days. After that, you’ll need to use them. Otherwise, the root vegetable will start to go bad and lose some of the texture and flavor.
If you want to keep them longer for later usage, the only option is to freeze the lotus root.
How to Freeze Lotus Roots
Like most vegetables that are high in moisture content, they either need to be eaten fresh or stored in the freezer. Any other types of storage will cause them to go bad quickly.
If you want to store lotus roots in the freezer, you’ll need to prep them first. This means the root vegetable will need to be blanched first.
Blanching is the process of cooking the lotus roots in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. This will stop enzyme actions that can result in loss of texture and flavor. Also, blanching will help slow down the loss of vitamins.
After the lotus roots are blanched, quickly place them into an ice bath. This will stop the root vegetables from cooking any further.
Now that you know the importance of blanching the lotus root, you can get started with prepping and freezing them.
Below are the steps to freezing the lotus roots:
- Clean the lotus roots with water. If it’s really dirty, use a scrub and gently brush the dirt and other debris off.
- Cut or slice the lotus roots into smaller pieces. Freezing the entire vegetable isn’t recommended as the texture will get damaged during freezing. Also, thawing them will take a long time too.
- Blanch the lotus roots for a couple of minutes.
- After that, place them into an ice bath and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- In a colander, place all the slices of lotus roots and let it sit and drain for about 10 minutes.
- Using a clean and dry paper towel, gently pad each lotus root to remove any excess moisture.
- On a tray, lay a sheet of wax paper on it.
- Place the lotus roots onto the wax paper and keep them spaced out between each other.
- Take the tray of lotus roots and place them into the freezer for about 1-2 hours.
- Once it’s completely frozen, take the tray out and immediately transfer the lotus roots to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- If using a freezer bag, press on the bag to remove the air from it.
- Seal the freezer bag or container tight. This is a very important step. If air leaks into the container or bag, the root vegetables will get damaged and won’t last as long as it should.
- Label the bag or container with the freezing date and place it into the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Lotus Roots?
Since the lotus roots are already sliced or cut, you won’t really need to defrost them. When cooking a meal that requires lotus roots, you can simply take them from the freezer and add them to the meal while it’s cooking.
However, if you don’t need them right away, you can use the method to thaw them in the fridge. Take as many lotus roots that you think you’ll need and place them on a plate. Then put it in the fridge and in a couple of hours, it should be thawed.
Whether you’re using the lotus roots right away or thawing them in the fridge, they will slightly become soft.
How Long Can You Freeze Lotus Roots?
You can store lotus roots in the freezer for up to 6 months. The root vegetables will only last this long if it’s stored at a constant temperature of 0 degrees F. Since most freezer will be constantly opened and closed, the temperature will fluctuate. Due to this, the lotus roots may go bad before then.
Therefore, for the best quality, the lotus roots should be used within 6 months. The earlier you use them, the better the quality of the root vegetable it will be.
After 6 months, the lotus roots can still be eaten, but the quality will deteriorate. If you do use them after 6 months, you’ll notice the texture will be softer and it will have some loss in flavor.
Can You Refreeze Lotus Roots?
It’s not recommended to freeze lotus roots the second time. These root vegetables have already lost some of its texture and flavor during freezing. As it thaws, it will become softer and lose some more of its flavor.
By freezing it again, you’ll end up with a vegetable that is mushy and lost all of its flavors. When it’s added to a meal during cooking, the lotus roots will simply break apart.
However, if you do need to refreeze the lotus again, make sure it hasn’t completely thawed yet.
Can you freeze cooked lotus roots?
Freezing cooked lotus roots isn’t recommended. This is for both cooking the lotus roots by themselves or part of a meal. The vegetables will freeze just fine, but the problem starts when it thaw. As it thaws, the lotus roots will become mushy and soft.